First Aid for Head Injuries

This week’s blog focuses on first aid for head injuries.  You might wonder why the image of a box of eggs?  I’ve used this image because it’s the analogy I use when examining people with a head injury.  Yes, we are interested in the integrity of the box but I’m more concerned about what’s going on inside – just like when you choose your eggs, you always open it and take a look inside.  This is why it is now common practice for people with a suspected head injury to be scanned rather than have an x-ray.  An x-ray only gives information about the box but a scan shows the inside too.

It’s important to remember any head injury can be serious and if someone has a head injury they may also have a neck injury.  Therefore, if an injury is serious do not move the casualty unless absolutely necessary and phone for your emergency services.


Things of concern

The following are signs and symptoms that signify a potentially serious head injury and therefore need medical attention:-

  • Any loss of consciousness
  • Becoming drowsy and struggling to stay awake
  • Bruising around the eyes or ears
  • Fluid running from the nose or ears
  • Any fits or seizures
  • Any loss of memory
  • Any blurred or double vision
  • Vomiting more than twice – regardless of amount
  • Headache that will not settle with simple painkillers
  • You feel the person is not themselves

Always seek medical advice if at all concerned after a head injury.

There’s also information and advice available from NHS Choices on minor head injuries and severe head injuries.


Things to avoid

It’s important to rest after a head injury, even if it’s minor.  The following is a list of things to avoid after a head injury:-

  • Heavy work
  • Excessive exercise or contact sport
  • Alcohol or illegal drugs


What to do after a head injury

  • Rest
  • Take simple painkillers, always follow the instructions on the packet
  • If the injured person shows any of the symptoms above seek advice from a health professional
  • Ideally someone should be with them for 24-48 hours aftrwards to observe for any of the above signs

Always seek medical advice if at all concerned after a head injury.

I hope you found this useful.  I’d recommend the NHS Choices pages too.  If you have any questions please comment below.


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